Teleprompter: The secret behind Modi’s fluent English


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been known to prefer giving public address in Hindi, but nowadays he is speaking equally well in English.

On June 8, the Prime Minister addressed the US Congress for over 45 minutes in English which gathered nine standing ovations and more than 50 rounds of applause.

During his entire speech, the Prime Minister connected India to America with his various quotes and said, Indian Americans are bridging both the nations. Today the Indians are among the America’s best of academics, scientists, doctors, CEOs and even the best spelling Bees.

The technology that has helped him is a teleprompter which is also frequently used by US President Barack Obama even for short speeches.

Here’s how it works: A teleprompter usually consists of two mirrors that are semi-transparent, each mounted on a small, thin stand, with each mirror set at a 45 degree angle. The text from the monitor is visible on the mirror for the speaker to read.

At the base of the mirror is a flat LCD monitor, pointed at the ceiling. It displays the words of speech in a large, typically 56 pt to 72 pt, font. Usually an operator controls the speed the speech, who listens to the speaker and follows along. The operator waits, if the speaker pauses, before moving on.

Though the speaker can easily read from the mirror, from the audience side it looks like a clear piece of glass because of the anti-reflective coating that is on it. During his speech, the speaker simply looks from one teleprompter to the other. This gives an impression that he is looking at the audience while giving his speech.

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